In a world that strives to be inclusive on so many levels it can be difficult to include a special needs child in “normal” activities.
Am I the only mother out there who wants to scream or cry when I see airports providing complementary cell phone charging stations and gluten free menu options on every restaurant menu, but there is nowhere for my child with special needs to sit in the shopping cart on grocery day?
Are we the only parents who feel a tinge of jealousy watching that adorable family across the restaurant whose little one has the muscle tone to support himself in the restaurant-provided high chair that our toddler can’t use?
Why does it seem as though catering to the group of special needs children in public places hasn’t been thought of yet?
1. Mom assesses grocery list and decides if all items can fit in tote bag or if a cart is absolutely necessary
2. If tote bag will suffice mom removes stroller from trunk, hooks straps of tote bag over stroller handle….or grab cart if necessary
3. Place 19-month-old in stroller…or lay him in the back of the cart on a blanket
4. Beg 3-year-old to behave and walk next to me without crying
5. Fill tote bag with all items on grocery list but equaling less than the weight of child/stroller combo to avoid tipping the stroller (yes, I figured that out the hard way one day)…or strategically balance and stack all items around toddler laying in the back of the cart
6. Unload, pay for, and load groceries and children into the car followed by immediately breaking into the chocolate bar that was calling your name in the checkout line
I just want to get my groceries and get out as fast as any other mom!
Can’t it be any easier than this?!
Cue “Hallelujah Chorus” and enter amazing company called Firefly.
This company has given a big dose of “normal” back to our family as we are learning to adjust to meeting the ever-changing needs of our growing boy.
We currently possess a Firefly GoTo Seat.
With the GoTo Seat I was able to put my three-year-old and 19-month-old in the shopping cart together for our trip to the grocery store this week.
I nearly cried, but laughed instead and took an absurd amount of pictures in every aisle on my phone, forgetting half of the items on my list because I was overjoyed at the reality that my children, both of them, were having a “normal” experience!
This was a reminder to me that I’m not the only one searching for “normal.”
Our daughter wants it for her brother, too.
It’s a family thing.
We just want to be able to grocery shop and go out for dinner like everyone else.
Did you receive adequate support and information when you received your child's diagnosis?